Appreciating liberty

“This is bigger than 9/11,” she said sadly, “and did we ever go back after 9/11?”

Stormy Skies, by Carol L. Douglas. Available.

Yesterday was a Zoom-intensive day. I started with my class. Then I switched channels to the Maine Arts Commission. That’s a meeting I had to attend, since the commission is working heroically for our economically-battered arts sector.

That meant six hours of online meetings. Later I texted a friend whose job involves doing this all day long. “It left me feeling extremely out-of-sorts,” I told her. “I’m kind of anxious, and I’m not an anxious person.” She said the same thing sometimes happens to her.

A group in which I serve is operating on the principle that we won’t meet in person at all for the foreseeable future. That means we must put all our activities online as much as is possible. But how to do that and in what form remains to be seen.

After the storm, pastel, by Carol L. Douglas

I also belong to a group that’s trying to figure out how to start meeting in person if the limit on gatherings is eased in June. There’s varied opinion in our circle about the importance of the restrictions now in place. However, we’re united in wanting to make live meetings happen. That means doing what’s necessary to make everyone comfortable.

Wise leaders are struggling to meet people where they’re at, rather than dictating what their response should be. I have friends who think this is a conspiracy to deprive them of their rights, and friends who are afraid to go to the grocery store. All must be accommodated as we grope our way forward.

How much will we appreciate our liberty when this is all over? The answer depends, in part, on whether you find the current crisis much of an impingement. Not everyone does.

Parrsboro Dawn, by Carol L. Douglas. Available.

As someone whose livelihood and religious practice have both been swept off the table, I recognize that things have changed. The question I ask myself is whether I’m intrepid enough to venture out into this new reality, or whether I should retire to the country and raise chickens.

Last night I asked my friend Cheryl whether she thought we’d ever go back to life as we knew it. “This is bigger than 9/11,” she said sadly, “and did we ever go back after 9/11?”

I’ve always wondered why so many people willingly collaborated with the Nazis during WW2. Today people apparently denounce their neighbors for having company or for not wearing masks. I know people have noticed the New York plates in my driveway because they’ve remarked on them. Luckily, these were people who like me.

Sunrise in Virginia, pastel, by Carol L. Douglas

I begin to understand the social pressure that drove the collaborators. They were driven by fear, anger, and opportunism as much as ideology. These are all social behaviors, just as much as love and friendship are. We humans are ultimately social animals, even when we’re sheltering apart. We’re so strongly designed that way that it can be our undoing. As I discovered in Argentina, the answer to the question, “If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you, too?” is, apparently, yes.

Still, don’t for a moment think I’m unduly pessimistic about the future. My faith can be derided as simple, but simple isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you,” wrote the prophet Isaiah. I know that good will come of these trying times; it always does.

Stations of the Cross (5 of 5)

This week I am running a series of Stations of the Cross. They were completed during a deadly year, one in which I was being treated for an advanced cancer. For this reason—and because I was traversing new territory for myself—they’re uneven. But their power comes from the underlying story.
The language is simple, meant to be accessible to a child.
The originals are on display at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, 2000 Highland Avenue, Rochester NY 14618.

Jesus died.
The sky grew dark. At three o’clock, Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
“He is calling for Elijah,” the people said. Someone got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and lifted it on a stick for Jesus to drink.
“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit,” cried Jesus, and he died.
At that moment, the sun’s light died, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, and there was an earthquake. When the soldiers felt the earthquake, they were terrified. “This man must have been God’s son,” one said.
People disagree about what Jesus meant when he said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
The crowd did not know what Jesus meant, either. They did not understand he was God’s son, so they thought he was calling for Elijah.
The soldiers recognized the earthquake as a sign of God’s power. But there were other people who still would not see.
Jesus’ side was pierced.
The crowd did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath. They asked Pilate to break the legs of the three men so they would die faster. Since Jesus was already dead, the soldiers did not break his legs. One soldier took his spear and pierced Jesus’ side.
After Jesus died, he stopped talking, but he was not quiet. The things that happened to him were signs.
The blood that came from his side was the blood of the new covenant. The water was the water of baptism. “On that day a fountain shall be opened to cleanse them from sin and impurity,” said Zechariah.
Jesus was taken down from the cross.
Joseph of Arimathea was a secret disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked him for Jesus’ body.
Joseph took Jesus’ body from the cross and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. A man named Nicodemus helped Joseph.
The people who had come to watch returned to their homes, making a big show of their grieving. But the people who loved Jesus stood at a distance and waited.
Joseph was a member of the council. He was a rich but good man. Nicodemus was a religious leader. Both were secret followers of Jesus.
When they asked for Jesus’ body, their secret was known. They risked losing their power and money—even their lives.
Joseph and Nicodemus could not help Jesus without showing their faith to the world. Sometimes we are afraid of what other people think of our religion. But we cannot serve God if we keep our faith hidden.
Jesus was laid in the tomb.
Joseph and Nicodemus laid the body in Joseph’s own new tomb. They rolled a large rock over the opening. They had to work very quickly because the Sabbath was starting.
Mary Magdalene and Jesus’ mother Mary kept watch nearby.
The next day, the priests and Pharisees went to the tomb and sealed the stone shut. “Otherwise his disciples may steal the body and say ‘He has been raised from the dead,” they told Pilate.
On that Saturday, did Caiaphas, the council, and the people believe they had finally silenced Jesus? 

Let me know if you’re interested in painting with me on the Schoodic Peninsula in beautiful Acadia National Park in 2015 or Rochester at any time. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops! Download a brochure here.

Stations of the Cross (4 of 5)

This week I am running a series of Stations of the Cross. They were completed during a deadly year, one in which I was being treated for an advanced cancer. For this reason—and because I was traversing new territory for myself—they’re uneven. But their power comes from the underlying story.

The language is simple, meant to be accessible to a child.
The originals are on display at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, 2000 Highland Avenue, Rochester NY 14618.
Jesus was nailed to the cross.

When they came to Golgotha, the soldiers offered Jesus wine mixed with myrrh. He would not drink it.
They crucified him between two criminals.
Pilate put a sign on Jesus’ cross that said “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”
The wine with myrrh would have made death less painful and scary. But it also would have made Jesus confused. Jesus did not drink it.
Golgotha must have been a scary place that day. Perhaps the two criminals screamed in pain. Jesus’ friends and followers wept. The crowd shouted and laughed.
All around him, people lost control. But Jesus kept a clear head. The crowd was lost in their feelings. Jesus was not. Jesus forgave his enemies. He showed us that forgiveness is a choice, not a feeling.
The soldiers divided Jesus’ garments.
The soldiers took Jesus’ clothes and divided them among themselves. Jesus’ tunic was woven in one piece. They said, “We won’t tear it. We will gamble to see who will get it.”
For the soldiers, this was just another workday. If we could ask them what they were thinking, they might say, “I’m doing what I’m told,” or, “I need this job.”
There will always be people who take advantage of weak or defenseless people. Sometimes we do it ourselves. But Jesus told us, “Whenever you refused to help these least important ones, you refused to help me.”
Jesus spoke from the cross.
A crowd of people stood watching. Many shouted at Jesus, saying “Save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!”
One of the criminals who was dying with Jesus said, “If you are the Messiah, save yourself and us!”
The other criminal said, “We are getting what we deserve, but Jesus has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”
“Today you will be with me in Paradise,” Jesus told him.
The crowd thought that if Jesus were the Son of God, he would take care of himself first. But he put himself last, not first.
In the world, we are called powerful when we can get other people to do things for us. In God’s kingdom, we are powerful when we are like Jesus—using our gifts for others.

Let me know if you’re interested in painting with me on the Schoodic Peninsula in beautiful Acadia National Park in 2015 or Rochester at any time. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops! Download a brochure here.

Stations of the Cross (3 of 5)

This week I am running a series of Stations of the Cross. They were completed during a deadly year, one in which I was being treated for an advanced cancer. For this reason—and because I was traversing new territory for myself—they’re uneven. But their power comes from the underlying story.
The language is simple, meant to be accessible to a child.
The originals are on display at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, 2000 Highland Avenue, Rochester NY 14618.

Jesus took up his cross.
The place where prisoners were crucified was called Golgotha, or the Place of the Skull. It was outside the city. Jesus picked up his cross to carry it to Golgotha himself.
Jesus did not pick up his cross and carry it for us because we are lovable. He did it to lift the weight of our sins from us and put it on his own shoulders.
It’s one thing to love someone who is good. It’s another thing to love someone who is bad. There are some very unlovable people in this world. Can you pray for them? Be their friend? Forgive them? Love them?
Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry Jesus’ cross.
As the soldiers left the palace with Jesus they saw a man named Simon. The soldiers forced Simon to carry the cross for Jesus.
Sometimes God whispers and sometimes God demands. We believe we choose to serve Jesus. But Simon was forced to serve Jesus. When Simon picked up Jesus’ cross, his life was changed forever.
A person from Cyrene is from North Africa. The Bible does not tell us what color Simon was. If color doesn’t matter to God, how much should it matter to us?
Jesus spoke to the women following him.
A crowd gathered. They followed Jesus and Simon as they left the city. Some were Jesus’ enemies. Others cried for him. Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”
There is a story that a woman named Veronica reached out to Jesus and wiped his face with a cool cloth; later that cloth developed a picture of Christ.
It wasn’t the cloth but Veronica herself who was a picture of Christ. She reached out to another person who needed help. Can others see Jesus reflected in us?
Probably the women who wept for him along the road did reach out and offer him water, encouragement, and love. Even in his suffering, though, Jesus understood that they were the ones in need.

Let me know if you’re interested in painting with me on the Schoodic Peninsula in beautiful Acadia National Park in 2015 or Rochester at any time. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops! Download a brochure here.

Stations of the Cross (2 of 5)

This week I am running a series of Stations of the Cross. They were completed during a deadly year, one in which I was being treated for an advanced cancer. For this reason—and because I was traversing new territory for myself—they’re uneven. But their power comes from the underlying story.
The language is simple, meant to be accessible to a child.
The originals are on display at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, 2000 Highland Avenue, Rochester NY 14618.

Jesus was beaten.

“This man is innocent,” said Pilate. “He has done nothing to deserve death. I will have him beaten and released.” Pilate had his soldiers whip Jesus.

Pilate went out from his palace. “You have a custom of having a prisoner released for Passover. Should it be Jesus or Barrabas?” The crowd chose Barrabas.
“Then what should I do with Jesus?” he asked them.
“Crucify him!” they answered. 
Pilate hoped that by beating Jesus, he could satisfy the crowd and save Jesus from dying. It didn’t work. It was the first of many sufferings Jesus bore that day.
We all suffer—some of us as children, some as adults. Sadly, some suffer their whole lives. 
Sometimes we can see when people suffer. Other times, it is hidden.
When we reach out to those who suffer, we reach out to Jesus himself.
Jesus was mocked.
The soldiers dressed Jesus in a crown of thorns and a purple robe. They hit him on the face, saying “Hail, King of the Jews!”
Pilate did not want to kill Jesus. “Why won’t you answer me so I can let you go?” he asked Jesus. 
“Don’t you realize I have the power to have you killed?”
“You have no power except that which comes from God,” Jesus answered.
What could Jesus have said that would have changed the mind of the crowd? Their hearts were set against the truth.
There are times when what we do is far more important than what we say. We don’t just spread the good news by talking about Jesus. We also spread it by doing good things in Jesus’ name.
Jesus was condemned.
Pilate led Jesus outside to the judge’s bench. He said to the council, “Here is your King!”
“Crucify him!” they answered.
“Shall I crucify your king?” he asked.
“We have no king but the emperor,” said the priests.
So Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified.
Pilate was a smart man. He did not want to kill Jesus. He could have saved Jesus. But he did not stand up to the crowd when he knew they were wrong.
It is easy to do the right thing when people around you agree with you. It is hard when other people think you are wrong. Most of us worry about what our friends think. But public opinion will never tell you if something is right or wrong.
Let me know if you’re interested in painting with me on the Schoodic Peninsula in beautiful Acadia National Park in 2015 or Rochester at any time. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops! Download a brochure here.

Doublebooked!

I have two great shows opening next weekend. I hope you can make one or both of them.
Dead Wood, by Carol L. Douglas, 48X36, oil on canvas
God+Man: paintings by Carol L. Douglas
The relationship between God and Man as seen in the built environment.
Aviv Gallery, Bethel Community Church, 321 East Avenue, Rochester NY 14604
Opening June 6, 2014, 6-9 PM
Recurring Night-Deer, Something from a Night-Mare, by Sandy Quang, 18X24
Studio of Carol L Douglas student show
A baker’s dozen of students demonstrating a wide variety of styles and subjects.
The VB Brewery, , 6606 New York 96, Victor, NY 14564.

Opening June 8, 1-4 PM
And on that note, I’m heading downstate to spend the week with my Lower Hudson Valley Plein Air Painter friends! See you next weekend!
There are still a few openings in my 2014 workshop in Belfast, ME. Information is available here.

All Flesh is as Grass

All Flesh is as Grass, 36X48, oil on canvas, by little ol’ me.
My studio is in my house, so when Winter Storm Vulcan brought blizzard conditions to Rochester yesterday, it didn’t give me day off. Oh, well; I was painting snow anyway.
This apple tree was around the corner from my house. The landowner once told me to pick all the apples I wanted. He’s been gone for several years and his house has stood vacant, but still the old tree thrived.
This year, we picked an eight-quart basket for Thanksgiving pies. Shortly thereafter, a construction crew moved in to start a roof-to-foundation rehab. The first thing to go was the dated landscaping, including this old tree.
There are some things I may tweak, but I’m moving on to finish my fourth painting for my upcoming show at Roberts Wesleyan’s Davison Gallery. It opens Friday, March 28, from 6-9 PM.

Let me know if you’re interested in painting with me in Maine in 2014 or Rochester at any time. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops!

More on that Christian art thing

Knight, Death and the Devil, woodcut, by Albrecht Dürer, 1513
Part of the heated discussion that ensued after my post Friday about the so-called problem of Christian music expressed a general irritation with performers who identify themselves as Christian artists. We’re all aware of the capacity of modern artists to drape themselves over the cross for marketing purposes. However, there has always been a distinction between artists who work in religious themes because that is their marketplace, and those who are genuinely faith-driven.
Albrecht Dürer achieved extraordinary success very quickly. He produced a variety of works including many of a secular nature, and actively sought and exploited the patronage of Maximillian I. None of that indicates a profoundly religious man.
However, Dürer left a large body of writing that indicates that at some time he had a true religious conversion. He became an early and enthusiastic follower of Martin Luther.  His new Protestant sympathies can be felt in his later work, a transition pushed along by the death of his patron in 1519.
In 1524, Dürer wrote that “because of our Christian faith we have to stand in scorn and danger, for we are reviled and called heretics.” And in expressing thanks for the gift of one of Luther’s books, he wrote, “I pray Your Honor to convey my humble gratitude to His Electoral grace, and beg him humbly that he will protect the praiseworthy Dr. Martin Luther for the sake of Christian truth. It matters more than all the riches and power of this world, for with time everything passes away; only the truth is eternal.”
Circle of the Lustful: Francesca da Rimini (‘The Whirlwind of Lovers’) 1826-7, from William Blake’s illustrations of Dante’s Divine Comedy.
William Blake is another artist whose copious writings make his religious fervor easy to document. However, understanding them is another matter entirely. (I confess I take him in small doses.) His illustrations for Dante’s Divine Comedy include extensive margin notes in which he argues with Dante’s theology.
Blake was literally a visionary: he saw visions from childhood on. He was a believer, but he hated the church. His contemporaries thought him quite mad. But his poem “And did those feet in ancient time” comes down to us as the great patriotic hymn Jerusalem, set by Sir Hubert Parry in 1916.
I kind of like his assessment of the character of Jesus:

If he had been Antichrist Creeping Jesus,
He’d have done anything to please us:
Gone sneaking into Synagogues
And not us’d the Elders & Priests like Dogs,
But humble as a Lamb or Ass,
Obey’d himself to Caiaphas.
God wants not Man to Humble himself.

Conversion on the Way to Damascus by Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio, 1601
Compare these two painters to Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio, another brilliant painter of religious scenes. His patrons were Cardinal Francesco del Monte and Cardinal Girolamo Mattei, and his subject matter was overwhelmingly religious, but Caravaggio could by no stretch of the imagination be described as a “Christian artist.” A brawler with an extensive police record, he managed to nick a rival in the groin with his sword, severing an artery and killing the poor man. This led to Caravaggio’s exile and ultimately to his death.

Let me know if you’re interested in painting with me in Maine in 2014 or Rochester at any time. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops!

Blessings of a non-pictorial nature

Let’s get the sketch out of the way, first. No, it’s not very good, but that
is small potatoes compared to the experience of painting it.
It’s embarrassing to admit, but prior to this weekend I’d never spent any time in Corn Hill, which contains Rochester’s best-preserved collection of 19th century houses. I’ve driven through it, but to look at it, photograph it, or paint it—no, I’d never done that. So on Friday and Saturday, I spent a little time in lovely Lunsford Park.

Lunsford Park was laid out in 1837. It is surrounded by architectural gems, including a block of brick row houses, the Greek Revival home of canal engineer Col. Henry Cody, and a magnificent Second Empire rectory. There are two churches on the Circle as well: Immaculate Conception Catholic Church (1864) and the ruins of a lovely Medina sandstone gothic facade.

The sandstone stripe marks the
end of the old, start of the new.
This ruin is what everyone assumes they know about the history of the American church. A proud Richardsonian Romanesque-style Methodist Church, its membership had declined to unsustainable lows by 1969. The departing Methodists gave the building to an AME (African Methodist Episcopal) congregation. It then suffered several suspicious fires, the last (in August, 1971) being the disaster that did it in. The AME congregation followed the example of its Methodist predecessors and  withered away. They built a plain and functional sanctuary behind the surviving sandstone walls. Then they left too. Now it houses something called the End Time Deliverance Miracle Ministry, which has no internet presence and as far as I can see isn’t part of any denomination.

It seemed like there was nobody there: it appeared to be a squat barn of building (albeit very neat) with a hopeful name on a sheet of plywood above the door. A bit out of place in the lovely stillness of Lunsford Park, but it’s only a few blocks from Plymouth Avenue, and next door to it is an empty lot where a former city school stood.

I like churches and I like their buildings. I wandered around the circle for a while, looking for a subject to paint, but I kept coming back to this pile of stone. I looked at the memorial plaque to Dr. Charles Lunsford (1891-1985, Rochester’s first black physician), scuffed my feet through the falling chestnuts, took a few arty shots of the gazebo, and talked about our kids with a man sitting on a park bench, who—it turns out—is a member of End Time Deliverance.

He told me he was taking a cigarette break from handing out free clothes.  For the first time, I noticed the steady stream of people coming and going from a back door, toting full black plastic garbage bags over their shoulders. He told me he remembered the fires, and that he’d played in the old church as a kid (a rather poignant story I heard several times that afternoon).

In my more sophisticated moments, I understand that painting ruins is (in our day and age) a trope to be avoided at all costs. But there’s something about the wrecked face of this church that I love. It reminds me of my childhood church, Delaware Avenue Baptist Church. The ivy glowed green, orange and red against the violet sandstone walls, and pigeons called across the autumn afternoon. I know better, but I was seduced.

I set up on the hatchback of my Prius so I could look straight up at the tower. This is a foreshortened view and, frankly, I did a pretty poor job of drafting. But perhaps that’s because I spent almost the whole afternoon talking. As I mentioned, men were handing out clothing and coffee to the neighbors. A little boy was there with his Daddy, working on repairs. The praise band finished practicing. The sound guy finished adjusting the sound. Teen girls finished their dance practice. The ladies of the church were off somewhere else witnessing, but when they finished, several of them stopped by. (“I still gotta check on them,” one of them told me, and as a blue-haired church lady myself, I totally understand that.)

One man spent quite a long time telling me about the church’s outreach, which includes summer picnics for the neighbors. At one point the conversation moved to race and faith. “I don’t see why it matters,” a man told me. “Black, white—we’re all one church.” And then he invited me to join them on Sunday (which I would have done, except that my husband was playing in a praise band elsewhere). 

How many times have I driven around Buffalo’s East Side and lamented the death of the old churches that once proudly hosted German or Polish Catholic congregations? Under that surface decay, are they doing more of God’s work than ever? Conversely, how many of the beautifully-maintained faux-Tudor churches in the suburbs and countryside are dying from inside?

I would love to return and paint this church’s portrait, because it’s a portrait of an elemental truth: it’s not just that appearances can be deceivingthey almost certainly are deceiving. But to be honest, I don’t have a clue how I’d start to depict the beating heart inside this old ruin. Any suggestions?

Immaculate Conception isn’t unscathed either;
its steeple was hit by lightning and ruined.

A Child Walks With Jesus


This morning, I was in the sanctuary at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church when I realized with surprise that the Stations of the Cross are on display—well, they would be, since they were made for Lent. (I don’t attend a Lenten-observing church anymore, and the calendar gets away from me.)


(If you would like to walk the Way of the Cross, it is done each Friday at 5:30 PM. The address is 2000 Highland Avenue, Rochester. Their full Lenten schedule is here.)
I made these Stations during my own personal annus horribilis, a year in which I was being treated for colorectal cancer. The quality is—looking back—uneven. No surprise there, since there were many days I could barely lift a pencil.
I was surprised to realize that they are also no longer on the internet in any form, so I dug deep into my archives and found copies of the illustrations and the original text, which I have reproduced here:
The idea of the Stations of the Cross originated in pilgrimages to Jerusalem, in the form of was later called the Via Dolorosa or “Way of Suffering”. This was an effort to understand in some small way the suffering of Christ by following him on the route of his conviction and execution.

 Gaudenzio Ferrari, Statue of Jesus climbs the Praetorian Steps, Polychrome wood, ca. 1510 Italy, Sacro Monte di Varallo (VC), Chapel XXXII

Of course, most devout Christians never get to Jerusalem. Attempts to replicate the Via Dolorosa experience for the rest of us appeared as early as the 5th century. Eventually these took the form of connected shrines, bas relief carvings on indoor or outdoor church walls, or woodcuts in bound books.
 Albrecht Dürer (1471 -1528), ‘The Large Passion: The Crucifixion’, Germany, About 1498
For both the points on the Via Dolorosa and the images disseminated throughout Europe, the term “Stations” was in use after about the 15th century.
By the 16th century, out-of-door Stations of the Cross were a regular sight on the approaches to many large churches—most commonly with seven settings, but ranging up to 30.

by Adam Kraft (1490) in Nuremberg
In 1731, Pope Clement XII fixed the number of stations at the modern 14. These are:

  1. Jesus is condemned to death
  2. Jesus accepts the cross
  3. Jesus falls the first time
  4. Jesus meets His Mother
  5. Simon of Cyrene carries the cross
  6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
  7. Jesus falls the second time
  8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
  9. Jesus falls the third time
  10. Jesus is stripped of His garments
  11. Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
  12. Jesus dies on the cross
  13. Jesus’ body is removed from the cross (Deposition or Lamentation)
  14. Jesus is laid in the tomb and covered in incense.
The problem for we literalist Protestants is that Stations 3, 4, 6, 7, and 9  have no clear basis in the Bible.
So how does an evangelical proceed when asked to make Stations of the Cross for an Episcopal church? The Episcopal Church frequently hearkens back to what it calls its three-legged stool, which is in itself a recapitulation of Richard Hooker’s hierarchical ranking of doctrine:
  1. “What Scripture doth plainly deliver.”
  2. That which may be concluded “by force of reason.”
  3. That which “the church by her ecclesiastical authority” thinks and defines as true.
No room there for Veronica, no matter how lovely the story is.
Ironically, I could have just waited for the Catholics. In 2007, Pope Benedict approved a new set of Stations for Catholics, called the Scriptural Way of the Cross. Those Stations are:
  1. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane,
  2. Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested,
  3. Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin,
  4. Jesus is denied by Peter,
  5. Jesus is judged by Pilate,
  6. Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns,
  7. Jesus takes up His cross,
  8. Jesus is helped by Simon to carry His cross,
  9. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem,
  10. Jesus is crucified,
  11. Jesus promises His kingdom to the repentant thief,
  12. Jesus entrusts Mary and John to each other,
  13. Jesus dies on the cross,
  14. Jesus is laid in the tomb.
One thing—the originals are the property of St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, but the right of reproduction resides with me, the artist. And that I share freely with the world. Go ahead and share them with anyone who might enjoy it.